In Quest of the Historical Adam? Fuz Rana of Reasons to Believe responds

Fuz Rana of Reasons to Believe interacts with William Craig’s book, “In Quest of the Historical Adam.” He specifically addresses Craig’s claim that H. Heidelbergensis was as human as us, based on blood flow to the cranium, among other things.

I can’t see from the link itself, but maybe the blood flow that is mentioned are the tiny blood vessels that run thru the cranium in a radial pattern in our species. If H. heidelbergensis has those, then perhaps neanderthals and other humans did as well (I don’t know).
Anyway, Craig’s claim that Adam was a H. heidelbergensis, as he does, is a bit startling. There is a tradition that members of the genus Homo are called “humans”, and by that reasoning Adam would be an earlier member of that genus, namely H. erectus and not H. heidelbergiensis.

Yeah, and they didn’t have a hippopotamus minor, either.

He refers to the internal carotid arteries, which supply about 85% of the blood flow to the brain. The estimate quoted is that H. Sapiens and Neanderthals are at about 8 cubic cm/s, whereas H. Heidelbergensis is about 6 cubic cm/s. This and brain size, Rana concludes, "should exclude H. Heidelbergensis from the ‘human family.’ "

The thing is that Craig isn’t committed to the idea that every H. heidlebergenses was fully human. There is some subtleties here that Fuz is missing.

Just got a copy. It is an interesting read. Certainly puts on display very different ways of determining “human” from the scientific evidence. That’s something no one really has nailed down.

There is no way to determine “human” from the scientific evidence unless you first define the term. Have they both agreed upon a definition? Is it an operational definition for which that status of a species can be determined from fossils?


Yes they do have different definitions.

In that case, any discussion is useless.


There can be discussion about which definition makes most sense.

WLC basically argues for a “threshold” that was crossed at some point. That’s one valid way to think about this.

Rana argues that contemporary Homo sapiens are the anchor point, so significant differences in cognitive capacities of Neanderthals mean they would not be human. That is also a valid way to think about it.

There can in fact be no other discussion until that’s settled. But there’s probably no point; I think neither definition is valid. There is no objective definition, and neither of those definitions is operational either. Unless evolution is saltational, there can be no sharp line to draw, and that’s the real valid way to think about this.


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